A dry port (sometimes inland port) is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.[1]

In addition to their role in cargo transshipment, dry ports may also include facilities for storage and consolidation of goods, maintenance for road or rail cargo carriers and customs clearance services. The location of these facilities at a dry port relieves competition for storage and customs space at the seaport itself.

A dry inland port can speed the flow of cargo between ships and major land transportation networks, creating a more central distribution point. Inland ports can improve the movement of imports and exports, moving the time-consuming sorting and processing of containers inland, away from congested seaports.


The term inland port is used in a narrow sense in the field of transportation systems to mean a rather more specialized facility that has come about with the advent of the intermodal container (standardized shipping container) in international transport. Rather than goods being loaded and unloaded in such ports, shipping containers can just be transferred between ship and road vehicle or ship and train. The container may be transferred again between road and rail elsewhere and the goods are only loaded or unloaded at their point of origin or final destination.

Shipping containers allow some functions traditionally carried out at a seaport to be moved elsewhere. Examples are the functions of receiving, processing through customs, inspecting, sorting, and consolidating containers going to the same overseas port. Container transfer at the seaport can be sped up and container handling space can be reduced by transferring functions to an inland site away from the port and coast.

Distribution may also be made more efficient by setting up the link between inland site and seaport as, say, a high-capacity rail link with a lower unit cost than sending containers individually by road. The containers are still collected from their origins or distributed to their ultimate destinations by road with the transfer happening at the inland site.

An inland port is just such an inland site linked to a seaport. This kind of inland port does not require a waterway. Key features of an inland port are the transfer of containers between different modes of transportation (intermodal transfer) and the processing of international trade. This differentiates an inland port from a container depot or transport hub.[2]

The term inland port may also be used for a similar model of a site linked to an airport or land border crossing rather than a seaport.

The definition of inland port in the jargon of the transportation and logistics industries is:

An inland port is a physical site located away from traditional land, air and coastal borders with the vision to facilitate and process international trade through strategic investment in multi-modal transportation assets and by promoting value-added services as goods move through the supply chain.[3]

Inland ports may also be referred to as dry ports or intermodal hubs.

Dry ports in Africa

Dry ports in Asia

Dry ports in Europe

Dry ports in Latin America

Dry ports in North America

Dry ports in Oceania

See also


  1. ^ "Feasibility Study on the network operation of Hinterland Hubs (Dry Port Concept) to improve and modernise ports' connections to the hinterland and to improve networking" (PDF). InLoc. January 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  2. ^ Inland Port vs. Container Port. Prepared by C.M. (Red) Williams, President of Saskatchewan Agrivision Corporation. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  3. ^ Leitner, Sara Jean; Harrison, Robert (2001). The Identification and Classification of Inland Ports. Center for Transportation Research, The University of Texas at Austin. p. 69. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/angolan-railway-serves-dry-port?p=blog/2010/12/angolan-railway-serves-dry-port/
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/benin-nigeria-railway-proposed
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Tororo Inland Port Under Construction
  11. ^ Mutare Dry Port, Shippingline.org
  12. ^ http://genkonsul.de/wp-content/pdf/invest_in_kz.pdf
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ [6]
  17. ^ [7]
  18. ^ [8]
  19. ^ GTO Inland Port
  20. ^ Los Andes Dry Port
  21. ^ CentrePort Canada
  22. ^ Port Alberta
  23. ^ Greer 'inland port' may be new SC economic engine BusinessWeek March 2013[dead link]
  24. ^ http://www.scspa.com/locations/inland-port-greer/
  25. ^ Greg Thompson (30 September 2016). "BMW and Greer: A port far from any storms". Automotive Logistics. Retrieved 6 April 2017. That Charleston facility now sees approximately 5,000 finished vehicles per week arriving via Norfolk Southern along a rail line that starts at the end of the BMW assembly line and testing centre in Greer. Of the 285,000 finished vehicles exported by the OEM from the plant during 2015, Charleston port was the point of departure for some 250,000 units. 
  26. ^ Virginia Inland Port (VIP)
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  28. ^ About Martinsburg Inland Port
  29. ^ http://www.transportation.wv.gov/ports/Pages/WVPorts.aspx
  30. ^ Railway Digest October 2012, p18
  31. ^ "Transport hub operator sought". Brighton Council. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  32. ^ "SCT hails Penfield intermodal hub expansion". Bauer trader Media. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 
  33. ^ - opened Aug 2012/f-t11356716.htm About Dooen Inland Port
  34. ^ Ettamogah Inland Port
  35. ^ http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11356716.htm
  36. ^ About Warrnambool Inland Port
  37. ^ 2010 Track & Signal Autumn 2010, p8
  38. ^ http://www.conlinxx.co.nz/
  39. ^ http://www.port-tauranga.co.nz/metroport/
  40. ^ http://www.lpc.co.nz/our-services/midland-port/